Creedmoor, NC? : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread


I have recently moved to Creedmoor, NC and would like to know more about the old SAL line that ran thru here.

From what I can tell, it looks like the line connected northern Durham (crossing NC rt 98) and continued on to Henderson? The ROW is still clearly visible around town. From the north, it parallels US 15 and diverges slightly and crosses NC 56 (near the intersection of NC 50) and runs by (almost thru!) the Southern States, then by what looks like an old grain elevator, and exits town to the south by an old, run-down freight depot that has seen better days.

I was able to locate some pretty detailed USGS maps of the area. From those, I was able to find what looked like a siding track from south of the depot to somewhere near the Southern States location. Also interesting was what appeared to be a wye south of town. The map had a line labeled "Abandoned RR Grade" that headed northwest under I85 and into Butner, connecting w/ the Southern line there. South of this wye, the line meanders thru the woods and eventually goes swimming in Falls Lake before it reappears south of the lake and continues on towards NE Durham.

What year was the line abandoned? Why? When was the last rain thru Creedmoor? Any regular operations in town? Was there indeed a wye that connected over to Butner? Any other details or info are greatly appreciated!

Sorry this is so long-winded, but I find this piece of history very fascinating.

Thanks much, Brian Crase Creedmoor, NC

-- Brian Crase (, December 30, 2000


CSX engineer Dale Diacont would probably be able to give you the best answer to your question since he worked the Creedmore turn more than I did, but he (as of yet) is not on-line, so I'll tell you what I can from my own experiences (which are fairly limited). When I worked the Henderson-Creedmore Turn in 1977-79 as a brakeman, the line (which originally was the SAL's, and later SCL's entrance into Durham before obtaining control of the Durham & Southern) was already abandoned from Creedmore to a point just NE of Durham. (We had a yard engine assignment in Durham that worked the local industries 5 days a week.) The track was pretty much laid without a great deal of grading, and as such was like a roller coaster limited to 10 MPH with 5 MPH slow orders. It was very light rail (90 or 100 lb. as I recall) and only Alco road switchers and the 200-series of GE U18Bs with the small fuel tanks were allowed to traverse it. A spur broke from the Henderson- Durham main line at Dickenson which [originally] ran to the town of Oxford, but when I-85 was built, was truncated at an adjacent wood yard rather than require the state to construct an overpass. When the Neuse River was dammed (creating Falls Lake), what remained of the right of way was apparently a casualty. I fired for several engineers who worked the Durham Branch in the late 1930s-70s. One, Frank Gill (if he's still living) resides in Bullock, NC, and spent a good part of his career running Alcos down the branch. He mentioned that Campt Butner was built during WWII and that most of the materials were brought in by the SAL, so (although I'm not personally familiar with the wye and the right of way to Butner to which you refer), I assume this might explain it. When I went into engine service in 1979, the local still ran to Creedmore, but by the time I went to Amtrak in 1986, only the wye at Henderson remained, I believe.

-- Doug Riddell (, December 31, 2000.

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